I'm feeling all sorts pressure to be magical right now.
2016 was a year for black women. Like for real. We were excelling, achieving, and just being over all great. Everyone was moisturized and our hair was growing. We were winning gold medals, starting businesses, and being champions of social justice. It was amazing. And just a little overwhelming.
Not because black women were achieving. Not because we were winning. But because all of a sudden there was this immense pressure: to be great, otherworldly, and even carefree. Great, I can do but those other two? Nope. Not I. I don't possess any magical powers and despite waiting for over a decade I still have not received an invitation to Hogwarts. And Carefree? The way these bills are set up? Nah. That's definitely not me. But all of a sudden I found myself pretending to be these things. I could totally be the flower crown wearing, AfroPunk going, highly overachieving, boss ass black chick. Because that's what I was supposed to be.
Numerous think pieces have already been written about how the narrative of the "strong black woman" is problematic. While seeming to be a virtue, this stereotype is dehumanizing and limiting. I can honestly say I feel the same way about #blackgirlmagic and #carefreeblackgirl. Created to empower and encourage these catchphrases completely neglect all of us who aren't carefree: those of us struggling financially, dealing with depression, going through a rough patch. Where do we fit in?
I'll go ahead and say I don't fit into this magical and carefree spectrum. I stopped fighting it and just accepted the facts. Sometimes I'm going to be depressed, sometimes I will actually care what people think, and apparently I will never actually have magical powers. So, no, I am NOT a carefree black girl. And I'm completely okay with that.